Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a warning to Hezbollah, stating that if the militant group opens a second front in Israel’s war with Hamas, it will face devastation in Beirut and southern Lebanon. Netanyahu made these remarks during a visit to the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces’ northern command, where he commended military reservists for their readiness for battle.
Netanyahu’s threat alludes to the extensive destruction caused by Israel’s military in the northern Gaza Strip as a response to Hamas’ attack on October 7. Israel has now shifted its focus to the south of Gaza, with reports of troops entering Khan Yunis. Hamas, labeled as a terrorist group by the US and the European Union, has received support from Hezbollah. As cross-border fire between Israel and Hezbollah intensifies, fears of the conflict expanding into a wider regional war have been somewhat alleviated, as Hezbollah has refrained from launching a full-scale military campaign.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden, who has prioritized containing the Israel-Hamas conflict, spoke with both Netanyahu and King Abdullah II of Jordan about the latest developments in Gaza. The White House emphasized concerns for the hostages in Gaza, attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank, and the importance of providing humanitarian assistance to the region.
The call between Biden and Netanyahu did not mention the Israeli Prime Minister’s warning to Hezbollah. However, it signifies the international community’s attention to the escalating situation and the need for diplomatic efforts to alleviate tensions.